Introduction: Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF-1) is a genetic disorder that occurs in 1:2500–3000 live births and may involve multiple organs. An uncommon but well-known phenomena is sphenoid dysplasia, which appears in 3–11% of the patients, and may result in significant lowering of the orbit. Understanding the cause and development of this process might predict its course and its treatment. Methods: The records of 29 patients with PNF in the head and neck region were searched for location of the PNF and type of surgery. Photographs were studied for facial disturbances, including vertical dystopia, hypertelorism, ptosis, exophthalmos and enophthalmos. MR and CT scans were studied for the presence of PNF, aspect of the sphenoid bone, alteration in the CSF circulation, and other tumour involvement. Results: Fourteen of 29 patients with PNF in the head and neck presented with sphenoid dysplasia. All 14 patients had their PNF located in the periorbital region. Increased locoregional CSF collections were seen in almost all of these patients. Besides glioma of the optical nerve or hamartomas in the cerebrum and cerebellum, there were no other tumours found. Surgical treatment varies from simple excision to excessive debulking of the PNF, reconstruction of the orbit and even enucleation. Conclusion: Although sphenoid dysplasia is uncommon in NF-1 patients, early recognition is important to prevent facial disfigurement and vision loss. Clinicians should be aware that abnormalities in the periorbital region and especially vertical dystopia might be the first sign of sphenoid dysplasia. Performing a CT or black-bone MR scan would be the next step to confirm or exclude sphenoid dysplasia and abnormal CSF dynamics.
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